Have you ever had a day where you just work and work and work and then it’s the end of the day and you look up and say “Whew! I did so much today!” and then you see the pile of stuff you didn’t do and you say “Crap, what did I do today?” Yeah. Me too.
Today was like that here. I recently started helping hubby with his booming freelance writing business and no matter how fast or hard I worked today, I could barely make a dent in the pile.
Then, I finally looked up and thought “Right! Gotta make dinner.”
Except, I fah-got! I laid out pork chops this morning. And I don’t like pork chops. Oh Maaan. Can you say DARN THE LUCK?! I worked all day and now I get to make pork chops. Wheee.
Now, it’s normal that about once a week I make something for dinner that I really don’t care for. But, let me tell you, I’ve had a really giving week this week when it comes to making things I don’t like.
Case in point. Yesterday, I made tater-tot casserole, one of my all time least favorites (don’t even ask me for the recipe, because I’m not sharing it, it’s gross). Unfortunately, it is one of hubby’s all time favorite dinners. If it weren’t for the fact that he loved it, the words tater-tot and casserole would never again cross my lips in the same sentence.
Oh yeah, and at the beginning of the week – I made (and ate) hot dogs. Yeah. Hot dogs, people! So, now do you see why I wasn’t happy about those darn pork chops tonight?
But, I had to cook them. It was time to start dinner, not time to figure out dinner. And, then. I quickly realized, I didn’t have half the stuff I needed to make the damn pork chops. This was not going well. I actually started to get a little cranky. Not that I would usually dream of being cranky after working all day, realizing I had to make and eat pork chops for dinner, and then realizing I didn’t have any garlic OR sweet potatoes in the house. But this time, I did seem slightly, you know, maybe just a little agitated, if you will. I actually started thinking about reservations.
But, reservations were not on the menu, and certainly not in line with my pocket book. So, I angrily threw what I had together and tossed it in the oven. Then, I drove to pick up my teenager who complained the whole way home about how unfair her science teacher is for making her do her homework. I listened, smiled, nodded, and silently thanked my lucky stars I wasn’t in high school any longer, because making and eating pork chops is bad, but high school is way worse.
Perhaps my sympathetic attitude turned the tide because when I got home my luck changed. I pulled those pork chops out of the oven and they looked really, really good. And they smelled divine!
And I ate them. And they were excellent. And now, I’m going to share the bad day pork chops with you.
Part of the reason hubby and I don’t care for pork chops much is because the of texture of the meat. It’s a tad unforgiving. If you don’t cook it just right it’s either dry or it’s rubber. Neither dry nor rubber textures are something we care for. These pork chops were soft and tender. Juicy and flavorful. They rocked out loud.
I baked these in a 325F degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours, but you could certainly cook them at 300F for 2 hours, or 350F for 1 hour. It’s up to you. Slower is better. Slower is goooood.
Well, here you go. Thankfully, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a few pictures as I start a new recipe – you just never know when you’re going to get lucky. While I was making these pork chops I also took a few that had nothing to do with pork chops. Like this one of my Aspie girl, Lilly, lining up her lite brite pieces by color instead of doing her homework (FYI – Lilly – and a lot of people with Asperger’s Syndrome – often display OCD traits.) Lilly didn’t eat any pork chops or apples. As a matter of fact, she pretty much just screamed through dinner about how mean we were that we put that food on her plate. Hey, I said the day got better. Not perfect.
Bad Day Pork Chops and Roasted Apples
1 pound of pork chops about 1/2 inch thick (we like boneless loin, but any should work fine)
3/4 Cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4-5 apples (I used a combination of Granny Smith, Washington Reds, and Gala)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 325F (or see notes above for different cook times/temps).
Rinse pork chops and pat dry.
Mix the bread crumbs and kosher salt in a dish just large enough for one pork chop to fit inside.
Dip each pork chop into the bread crumbs, then into the egg, and back into the crumbs a second time.
Lightly brown the pork chops in vegetable oil, using a heavy, oven-proof pan – like this 12″ Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet.
Meanwhile, peel and core each apple. If you don’t have a nifty apple corer and peeler and you and/or your children like apples it is well worth the investment. I use mine constantly. It makes peeling and slicing apples fun and easy. It’s safe enough for my girls to use it – and they love to do so. It’s perfect for a recipe like this one, too. It allows you to have evenly sliced apples – so that they cook evenly.
Place the apple pieces in a medium bowl. Add water, vanilla and sugar and toss.
When the pork chops are browned, remove from heat and pour the apple mixture over the top. Place the entire pan inside the preheated oven.
Bake 1 1/2 hours, or follow directions above for different cooking times. Carefully remove from skillet and serve with apples over the pork chops.